Red Bull Music Academy Weekender Sydney 2017 - first lineup announce


Tony Humphries makes his Australian debut * No Fixed Address and Coloured Stone reunite in Redfern * Peven Everett performs live in the open-air * Darkwave duchess ABRA gives her maiden Australian performances * Khalif and Waangenga Blanco premiere their hybrid virtual reality performance spectacle * Ambient pioneer Midori Takada and Krakatau talk to the breeze * Mighty One Day turn it up + much more.



AUGUST 31 - SEPTEMBER 03, 2017



AUGUST 26 - 31, 2017


SYDNEY, NSW (July 11, 2017) – Following a sold out debut in 2016, Red Bull Music Academy makes an eagerly awaited return to Sydney for the city’s sophomore Red Bull Music Academy Weekender; today revealing the curated line-up of artists and storytellers.


The four day festival lands in Sydney on Thursday August 31st opening with Red Bull Music Academy Presents: VIA ALICE - a poignant world premiere and multicultural collaboration that tells of a uniquely Australian journey through virtual reality film and live performance. VIA ALICE follows hosts, American rapper and producer Khalif Diouf (Le1f), & indigenous Australian dancer and choreographer Waangenga Blanco, as they take people on a surreal, immersive and insightful journey from New York City, into the vast Australian outback, Alice Springs, and onward into the upper northern reaches of the Cape York Peninsula.


Khalif and Waangenga, in conjunction with producers Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts, Mind Gamers, Kirin J Callinan), and John Kirby (Mind Gamers, Blood Orange, Sebastian Tellier), will simultaneously collaborate with indigenous communities in urban and regional centres on an original music composition to accompany this progressive visual journey. Taking place at Carriageworks, this exclusive performance will run across four evenings, accompanied by a free virtual reality screening, open to the public for the festival’s duration.


On Thursday evening, Red Bull Music Academy presents a powerful line-up of founding Aboriginal reggae rock legends, No Fixed Address and ARIA Award winners Coloured Stone performing together at Redfern’s 107 Projects. The two widely acclaimed bands will reunite in the historical centre of the Sydney Aboriginal community, inviting fans to revisit and explore their rebellious lyrics and driving reggae rhythms that burst onto Australia’s music scene in the early 1980s.


Pioneering frontman of Coloured Stone, solo artist & environmental activist, Bunna Lawrie will kick off Friday’s affairs with a rare address at 107 Projects. Sharing insight into his four-decade career, Lawrie’s consistent touring around the country has brought him an intimate knowledge of its highways, byways, communities and natural resources. Lawrie is an elder of the Mirning people, whose fight to protect the Southern White Whale was featured in Julian Lennon’s award-winning documentary Whaledreamers.


In a continuation of last year’s iconic Talk to the Sea, which created an unforgettable ambient reflection on the city’s harbour, pivotal Japanese composer and percussionist Midori Takada will lead a Friday evening journey of transformative performance upon the ocean breeze, from the historic heights of the Middle Head Fortifications in Sydney Harbour National Park.


For hundreds of years this location has witnessed the comings and goings of the ocean and for the first time ever, will also play host to a music spectacle like no other. Joining Midori Takada for an unforgettable meditative experience is progressive rock and jazz outfit Krakatau and the ambient project of András, Wilson Tanner - each act drawing inspiration from the surrounding environment, to add an element of improvisation to their performance.


Friday moves into Saturday’s early hours with a headline performance from Atlanta’s darkwave duchess ABRA, at Sydney’s Manning Bar. A core member of Awful Records, the princess of alternative R&B, will be joined by local artists Manu Crook$, ALTA, Kwame, Lara Andallo and Flex Mami, for her maiden Sydney appearance, in collaboration with Australian hip-hop’s new wave champions, Thank Guard Magazine.


During Saturday’s daylight hours at 107 Projects, one of house music’s founding fathers Tony Humphries will be the very special guest at a talk hosted by Academy alumnus Lorna Clarkson. Humphries’ name is synonymous with Zanzibar, the famed Newark club where for over a decade he introduced the world to the sometimes raw but always soulful subgenre of house known as Jersey Sound - a sound that was also heard via his studio productions and remixes for artists ranging from Mtume and Soul II Soul to Janet Jackson, and his work on KISS FM. A musical mastermind in a league with other legends of the era such as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan, Humphries was recently invited to compile Running Back’s 15 year Mastermix, continuing his effect on dance music’s trajectory.


On Saturday afternoon, we celebrate the exceptional talents of Peven Everett who will perform live as a quartet from a secret open-air location. Everett is the prodigious Chicago composer and vocalist responsible for co-creating two-step with his international garage hit “Gabriel” penned with Roy Davis Jr. Named the next Miles Davis by New York Times Magazine and the recipient of a scholarship to Berklee’s College of Music at age 17, Everett has composed over 50 albums worth of material to date. His 2002 cut “I Can’t Believe I Loved Her” remains a deep house classic, while his recent appearance on Gorillaz’ album Humanz is another marker of success in an ever-evolving catalogue. Everett will be joined by key local players J’Nett, CC:DISCO!, The Possé, Mike Who, Boogie Monster, Midnight Mutants (a new project by Jonti, Bus Vipers & Mohi), Adi Toohey and more.


For Saturday evening’s proceedings, Red Bull Music Academy Weekender presents Zanzibar meets Mad Racket; the Australian debut of Tony Humphries live at Marrickville Bowling Club. Humphries will unite with the founders of Australia’s own long-running residency, Mad Racket DJs - Simon Caldwell, Jimmie James and Ken Cloud - for an extraordinary exchange of house music across the Zanzibar era to present day. Humphries’ five-hour performance from one of Sydney’s favourite dance floors will provide a moment to cherish.


Closing the four-day musical affair is an outdoor Sunday party like no other, featuring Australia’s newest hip-hop sounds live from Max Watt’s on Sunday September 3. Known for their sold-out parties across the country, the team behind Sydney’s One Day Sundays will invite acclaimed Melbourne duo REMI, B Wise, SK Simeon, Turquoise Prince, Haiku Hands, Baker Boy and more to perform alongside Jackie Onassis, Joyride and the One Day DJs for a massive outdoor celebration of dancehall and new-wave hip-hop.




Paving the way for Red Bull Music Academy Weekender’s sophomore festival is the Road to Weekender: a series of select signature events & public lectures from the Sydney line-up that are hitting locales nationwide, visiting Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide & Brisbane from August 26th to August 31st.


The Road to Weekender begins in Perth, where ABRA will make her Australian debut before travelling to Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. The duchess with two acclaimed EPs and a full-length to her name, joins a collaborative superbill of local producers and MCs assembled via Thank Guard Magazine.


Soon-to-be-announced conversations with pioneering artists and Academy alumni will visit all the aforementioned cities as part of the Road to Weekender, while Melbourne will receive two additional events, taken from the Sydney line-up. On August 29, Midori Takada will provide a live evening of ambience from Southbank’s Melbourne Recital Centre. Joined by Krakatau, Takada will take on world modes of music for a journey akin to Sydney’s site-specific Talk to the Breeze offering. On September 1, Peven Everett will bring his esteemed live show to Max Watt’s Melbourne for a euphoric evening alongside local names J’Nett, WintersSilent Jay & Jace XL and Chris NG.